Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 13, 2018

Infrastructure Development

India’s first Multimodal Terminal inaugurated

Connect to the context

  • In a first for the country's inland water transport, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 12 will receive a container vessel in Varanasi on the river Ganga
  • In the maiden container since Independence on inland vessel MV RN Tagore, food and beverages major PepsiCo is moving its 16 containers from Kolkata to Varanasi. The cargo containers will reach Varanasi on November 12.
  • The Prime Minister will receive the container vessel travelled for the first time on inland waterways - NW 1 on the Ganga at Varanasi on November 12 at the newly developed multi-modal terminal and shall dedicate the terminal to the nation.
  • This is the country's first container movement on inland vessel post-Independence, and a milestone moment in the history of India's inland waterways transport sector.
  • PepsiCo (India) has moved 16 containers -- equivalent to 16 truckloads -- filled with food and snacks in the vessel MV RN Tagore which will make its return journey with fertilisers belonging to IFFCO that will be procured from its Phulpur plant near Allahabad.

First PPP Model

  • The event of flagging off the vessel last week had coincided with another momentous day for the IWT in India as IWAI's first foray into public private partnership (PPP) model became a reality with the handing over of operation and management of its terminals in Kolkata to Summit Alliance Port East Gateway (India) Pvt Ltd (SAPEL) on a supply, operate and maintain (SOM) model.

National waterway 1

  • The government is developing NW-1 (river Ganga) under JMVP from Haldia to Varanasi (1,390 km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369 crore.
  • The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1,500-2,000 DWT.
  • Gadkari had flagged off a consignment of Maruti cars from Varanasi to Haldia in August 2016.
  • Since then pilot movements on National Waterways are currently being done on various stretches.
  • More than 15 of them have already been successfully completed, including integrated movements through NW-1 (Ganga), Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route and NW-2 (Brahmaputra).
  • The PepsiCo cargo will be the first container movement on inland waterways in the country.

Multi modal terminal

  • This is the first of the four multi modal terminals being constructed on NW-I (River Ganga) as part of the World Bank aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.
  • The other three terminals are under construction at Sahibganj, Haldia and Gazipur.
  • The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT on river Ganga.
  • PM also received the country’s first container consignment to be sent on an inland waterways vessel. This consignment containing cargo of the food and beverage company Pepsico set sail from Kolkata in the last week of October.

Disaster Management

Tamil Nadu braces for Cyclone Gaja


  • Cyclone Gaja is likely to cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore district and Pamban, in Ramanathapuram district
  • Named by Thailand , it is the 55th tropical cyclone since the naming convention started in 2004.

Connect to the naming of cyclone

  • In South East Asia, tropical cyclones are named by different countries in the region. Titli was named by Pakistan and as per the format, the next cyclone will be named Gaja which is coined by Thailand.
  • Cyclones were usually not named. The tradition started with hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, where tropical storms that reach sustained wind speeds of 39 miles per hour were given names. (Incidentally, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones are all the same, just different names for tropical storms in different parts of the world; Hurricane in the Atlantic, Typhoon in the Pacific and Cyclone in the Indian Ocean).
  • If the storm's wind speed reaches or crosses 74 mph, it is then classified into a hurricane/cyclone/typhoon.
  • Tropical storms are given names and they retain the name if they develop into a cyclone/hurricane/typhoon.
  • For the Indian Ocean region, deliberations for naming cyclones began in 2000 and a formula was agreed upon in 2004.
  • Eight countries in the region - Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand - all contributed a set of names which are assigned sequentially whenever a cyclonic storm develops.

International Organisations

RCEP meet in Singapore


  • The Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, is leading the delegation for the meeting for trade Ministers of RCEP member countries which is taking place in Singapore on November 12-13, 2018.

Connect to RCEP

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a pact that aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
  • Trade Ministers of the 16 member RCEP are meeting in Singapore to continue to exert all efforts towards meeting the targets set.
  • The chief negotiators had recently concluded the 24th round of meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, last month.

India and FTA

  • India already has a free trade agreement with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan and South Korea and it is negotiating similar pacts with Australia and New Zealand.

India’s demand

  • India is pushing for liberalizing norms to promote services trade as the sector accounts for about 55 % of India’s GDP.
  • India is looking for a balance trade agreement as it would cover 40% of the global GDP and over 42% of world’s population.

Connect to RCEP members

  • The RCEP members include 10 ASEAN members – Brunei Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and their 6 free trade agreement partners – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The ministerial meeting will be followed by the 2nd RCEP Leaders Summit on 14th November, 2018, in Singapore.


Indian Navy – Indonesian Navy Bilateral Exercise ‘ Samudra Shakti’


  • INS Rana of the Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command is on deployment to the South East Asia and arrived at the port of Surabaya to participate in the inaugural edition of Indian Navy – Indonesian Navy Bilateral Exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’ scheduled from 12 to 18 Nov 18.

Connect to the inaugural exercise

  • The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices.
  • The exercise would start with a Harbour Phase scheduled from 12 to 15 Nov encompassing planning and briefing on various activities, professional interactions, cross deck visits, sports fixtures and social interactions.

Connect to the bilateral relations between the two nations

  • The strategic partnership between the two nations was elevated to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ during the visit of Honourable Prime Minister of India in May 18 and Defence co-operation has been a significant pillar in this partnership.
  • The visit of the ship seeks to promote India’s solidarity with Indonesia towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between the navies of the two nations.

IONS 10th anniversary


  • 10th anniversary commemorative activities of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) scheduled on the 13 and 14 Nov 18 at Kochi.


  • In line with the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister – “SAGAR”(Security and Growth for All in the Region) - the theme for the 10th anniversary seminar is “IONS as a Catalyst forSAGAR”. ‘SAGAR’ is in consonance with India’s ‘Act East’ policy and the nation’s diplomatic, economic and military outreach in the region.

Connect to IONS

  • The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, commonly known as IONS, are a series of biennial meetings among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region.
  • It provides a forum to increase maritime security cooperation, providing a forum for discussion of regional maritime issues and promote friendly relationships among the member nations
  • The IONS a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, represented by their Navy chiefs, was initiated and launched by India in February 2008
  • 26 of the 32 countries which constitute the total membership of IONS would be participating in the seminar which aims to discuss maritime issues pertaining to cooperative capacity-building to deal with common security concerns in the region.
  • The IONS initiative endeavours to generate a flow of information among naval professionals so as to enable a common understanding of regional maritime issues and in turn facilitate generation of mutually beneficial maritime security outcomes.

Sources – The Hindu, PIB, Indian express